Putting the BESE races into perspective
The 2011 BESE elections, however, are getting a bit more scrutiny. Seven of the eight elected seats are being contested. The factor propelling the heightened interest is the two opposing camps that are fully engaged in these elections. One is the coalition of local school boards, superintendents and employee unions.
They feel threatened by reforms that have been enacted by BESE and the Legislature in the past decade. They want to return the system to the days when they were held less accountable for student’s achievement. The other camp is composed of education reformers who worked hard for years to bring better results and more accountability into K-12 public education.
One of the coalition partners in the reform camp consists of key elements in the business community. The strong business involvement has led some in the “old school” (pardon the pun) coalition to ascribe ulterior motives to business community involvement. Business motives aren’t ulterior at all - they are quite upfront. Without an educated workforce, most businesses can’t be competitive.
Businesses in Louisiana are major stakeholders in the public education system. Their taxes pay a huge portion of the funding going into the system. They are supposed to hire the graduates (or dropouts) leaving the system. Yet many in the coalition consisting of the education bureaucracy and their friends in the employee unions seem to feel that business has no place in pushing reforms that would create more quality in the system.
Businesses would like to see the value-added concept work in education as well. That is accomplished by focusing scarce resources on enhanced quality and allowing competition to drive innovation.
The anti-reform crowd bellows that education can’t be run like a business that is centered upon making a profit. The “profit” in an education enterprise is having a student leave a grade level with substantially more knowledge ("value-added") than when he or she entered it. Successful businesses have a business model that continually evolves, focuses attention on quality control, and learns from its competition. Granted, schools aren’t businesses, but they can definitely learn from business models.
Perhaps the best example of success from a radical change in an education model occurred in the public schools in Orleans Parish after Hurricane Katrina. The system had to be totally rebuilt. Fortunately, the grip on power held by the employee unions and the school board that was inept and riddled with corruption was removed. A new model was fashioned.
Competition entered the system fueled by the ability of parents to have some choice in which schools their children attended. Regulations were held to a minimum and central control of the system devolved, allowing innovation to bring about remarkable achievements in a short period of time.
Education progress is about adding value to the lives of the students who enter and leave the system. Everyone who votes on Oct. 22 should see which candidates are dedicated to putting the children first, not the bureaucrats and the unions.
Subscribe Today and Save!!!
St. Charles Herald-Guide is an award-winning newspaper that covers all aspects of St. Charles Parish - from schools and parish government news to social events, features on our local residents and sports.
Order your subscription today!
Former Hahnville High School quarterback Easton Melancon is now a gold medal winner....
The woman found stabbed to death Wednesday morning in Destrehan has been identified...
One of TV’s biggest shows, “American Horror Story,” recently wrapped up a two-week...
A woman was found stabbed to death in her Destrehan home and her mother, who walked...
A man accused of stabbing his girlfriend to death before attacking her mother has a...
East Bank residents in the communities of Destrehan and New Sarpy will see a...
Over 25 Years of Quality Sales, Service and Repairs on YAMAHA, MERCURY, EVINRUDE and JOHNSON Motors.
Blue Bell breaks ground on Luling distribution center - 1109 views
Blue Bell Creameries has broken ground in Luling on a distribution hub for their popular ice cream products.